Theatre Network presents
in association with Mary J. Davis & MBL Productions
and Live & In Color
The world premiere of:
WITH BELLS ON!
Book by Tommy Newman & Devanand Janki
Music & Lyrics by Tommy Newman
Based on the play by Darrin Hagen
Theatre Network is proud to present the world premiere of this brand-new holiday musical (in heels!) by Tommy Newman and Edmontonian Devanand Janki, based on Darrin Hagen’s beloved play (which had a perennial home at Theatre Network’s old Roxy Theatre, courtesy of Guys in Disguise).
It’s Christmas Eve and accountant Ted—in the midst of a nasty divorce and a persistent bad-luck streak—heads up to the roof of his building to end it all. His plans are interrupted when he gets trapped in the elevator with Natasha, a 7-foot drag queen who has created the Ultimate Christmas Queen Pageant Outfit. Both Ted’s plan and Natasha’s dream of winning the title of “Christmas Queen” are held in the balance as this unlikely duo is forced to work together to escape.
This brand-new contemporary musical is all about embracing the ups and downs… with bells on.
Zachary Parsons-Lozinski (aka Lilith Fair)
Ted Thomas Jones
Director & Choreographer Devanand Janki
Music Director Ryan Sigurdson
Set & Costumes by Brianna Kolybaba
Lighting Design by Ami Farrow
Sound Design by Darrin Hagen
Stage Manager Gina Moe
Production Manager Brian Maxwell
Apprentice Stage Manager Andraya Diogo
Tuesdays through Saturdays @ 8 PM
Sundays @ 2 PM
Previews: Tue Dec 5 & Wed Dec 6 @ 8 PM
Opening Night: Thu Dec 7 @ 8PM
2-for-1 Tuesdays: Tue Dec 12 & 19 @ 8 PM
InfoThe Roxy Theatre:
Nancy Power Theatre
Run Time 95 minutes
Praise for With Bells On by Darrin Hagen:
Cast & Crew
TOMMY NEWMAN – BOOK, MUSIC, AND LYRICS
Tommy Newman is a published playwright, composer and lyricist from Alabama and a 2013 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award Winner. Three of his shows have participated in the annual NAMT Festival in New York. He is a recipient of an Anna Sosenko Assist Trust Grant, and a 2014 Kennedy Center ACTF National Musical Theatre Award Winner. Productions include: The Single Girl’s Guide with Gordon Greenberg, developed at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle (2016), The Village Theatre in WA (2015), Capital Repertory Theatre (2013), and NAMT (2013). Band Geeks! (Published by MTI, Goodspeed Musicals, Human Race Theatre Co., Red Mountain Theatre, NAMT Fest ‘09). Tinyard Hill with Mark Allen (Theatreworks Silicon Valley, Red Mountain Theatre, Human Race Theatre, Goodspeed, NAMT Fest ‘07). Off Broadway: We the People: America Rocks (Theatreworks, USA, NY Times Critic Pick, Lortel Nomination 2010), The Yellow Brick Road with Jaime Lozano (TheatreworksUSA, NY Times Critic Pick) and 29 with Gaby Alter (NYU Steinhart, Troy University). Recent works: The Teacher from the Black Lagoon and Other Stories (Theatreworks, USA), The Odyssey Suite, Savage, Jenny’s Damned Ex, and With Bell On: The Musical. He holds a BS in Music Education from Troy University and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch. Tommy is currently a full-time professor with Troy University’s Department of Theatre and Dance in Troy, AL. Read more about him at www.tommynewman.com.
DEVANAND JANKI – DIRECTOR, CHOREOGRAPHER, BOOK
Dev is the artistic director of Live & In Color, whose mission is to develop new works that promote and celebrate diversity. www.liveandincolor.org. His career spans all facets of the performing arts, winning multiple awards and nominations. Credits: Off B’way: Little Girl Blue -The Nina Simone Musical; Zanna, Don’t!; Yellow Brick Road; Junie B. Jones; Cupid & Psyche; Henry & Mudge; and Skippyjon Jones. Regional: Wings of Ikarus Jackson, Barrio Grrrl! (Kennedy Center), The Rocky Horror Show, Xanadu (Hangar Theatre), Disney’s Aladdin (Chicago Shakespeare), Man of La Mancha (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), The Full Monty, Songs for a New World (Village Theatre) and The Who’s Tommy (Flint Rep). Star-studded B’way concerts: Funny Girl, feat. Whoopi Goldberg, Sutton Foster, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth; Grammy-nominated concert of Hair starring Jennifer Hudson; 20th anniversary concert of Dreamgirls. Lincoln Center: Amahl and the Night Visitors, Babes in Toyland, and Anything Goes in Concert (assoc.). Nine years as artistic associate for Broadway Bares benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. As a performer he has appeared on Broadway in Miss Saigon, Cats, The King & I, Side Show, and tours of A Chorus Line and West Side Story. Dev is thrilled to be back in his hometown where it all began. www.devanandjanki.com
DARRIN HAGEN – SOUND DESIGNER & PLAYWRIGHT, WITH BELLS ON
DARRIN HAGEN is an award-winning playwright, author, composer, performer, and Queer historian, and is also the artistic director of Guys In Disguise. He has created over 40 plays, and dozens of published essays and articles, many dealing with the history of sexual minorities in Alberta.
Plays by Darrin include his award-winning 1996 debut, The Edmonton Queen (published by Brindle & Glass Publishing, now in its fourth printing). Other published work includes Tornado Magnet: A Salute to Trailer Court Women. Other plays by Darrin are the Sterling-nominated Buddy, Witch Hunt at the Strand, The Empress & The Prime Minister, Metronome, 10 Funerals. as well as the international hit BitchSlap!. Originally commissioned by Lunchbox Theatre in 2009, the original version of With Bells On has been produced as far away as Ireland and Key West, Florida, and is playing right now in Calgary for the 3rd time.
With his Guys In Disguise collaborator Trevor Schmidt he has co-created Dragula, Triple Platinum, Flora & Fawna’s Field Trip, Flora & Fawna Have Beaver Fever, Puck Bunnies, Psychobabble, and the multi-award nominated musical Klondykes, as well as the popular award-winning Orchard Crescent Trilogy: Prepare for the Worst, Don’t Frown at the Gown, and Crack in the Mirror.
He has received 7 Sterling awards for his work in Edmonton theatre, and the AMPIA for Best Male Host for the series Who’s On Top? In 2005 he was named one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century. In 2013 he was inducted into the Q Hall of Fame Canada for his contribution to Queer Canadian culture. He was recently named by the AFA as one of the 25 Most Influential Alberta artists in the last 25 years.
ZACHARY PARSONS-LOZINSKI (AKA LILITH FAIR) – NATASHA
Artistic Director of 50% Fruit Productions, Zachary Parsons-Lozinski is perhaps better known as his drag persona, Lilith Fair. Lilith has been performing in nightclubs and cabaret venues internationally for over ten years! The 2016 winner of Alberta’s Drag Superstar, Vue Weekly Magazine’s “Best Local Comedian” for five consecutive years in a row (2013-2017), and most recently the recipient of the ’22/’23 Sterling Award for “Outstanding Fringe Performance by an Individual” for her work in “The Pansy Cabaret” (Guys in Disguise). Credits with 50% Fruit include: “Bushes in the Basement”, “The Jayne Mansfield Holiday Special”, “Millennial Sex Witch” and “The House That F*cks” which opened Off-Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse as part of their Fringe Encore Series in 2022. Zachary currently lives in Calgary AB, where you can catch him as Lilith Fair every week at Twisted Element for “F*CK ME FRIDAYS” which features a curated selection of Alberta’s finest drag talent! To keep up to date on Lilith’s adventures, follow her on Instagram and X @LilithFairYYC – ENJOY THE SHOW!
THOMAS JONES– TED
Tom is beyond thrilled to be making his Theatre Network debut as part of this wonderful premiere. Thirty years ago Tom was roommates with TN’s AD, Bradley Moss in a shared house full of Actors in Vancouver. Things have come full circle since those early Theatrical adventures. Tom has worked with many of Vancouver’s most innovative theatre companies including the Electric Company, Boca del Lupo, Only Animal, Pi theatre, Touchstone Theatre and Axis Theatre.
Tom has also worked extensively in the interior of BC doing nine productions with Caravan Farm Theatre and a half a dozen puppet shows for Runaway Moon Theatre. He has been involved in dozens of original works in various styles such as Mask, Puppetry, Improv and Shadow Puppetry. He has toured throughout North America as well as Ireland Europe and Australia.
Tom has played guitar and banjo in numerous bands, currently in a duo with Mike Victor called “Last Crows Standing”. He has been touring his solo show “Woody Sed” about the life of Woody Guthrie since 2008.
RYAN SIGURDSON – MUSIC DIRECTOR
Ryan is an Edmonton-raised musical director now based in Toronto. A proud MacEwan Theatre Arts alumnus, he continued his studies with a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Cincinnati. Ryan has conducted the second national tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and played keyboard 1 for the first national tour of Anastasia. Some favourite musical directing credits include …Spelling Bee and Forever Plaid at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre in Edmonton, Billy Bishop Goes To War at the Citadel Theatre, and Teatro Live!’s original production of Everybody Goes To Mitzi’s which he also co-wrote. He has studied musical theatre writing at the BMI Lehman Engels Musical Theatre Writing Workshop in New York. Ryan is currently a teacher at Sheridan College.
BRIANNA KOLYBABA – SET & COSTUMES
Brianna is a film, theatre & opera designer specializing in visual storytelling from stage to film set. Based in ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Amiskwacîwâskahikan, Treaty 6 Territory) Edmonton, Alberta Canada. An ever-morphing artist of the occasion, Brianna brings her passion for world-building. Select theatre credits include: set design; Orphée+ (Edmonton Opera), set design; The Marriage of Figaro (Edmonton Opera), set design; Mary’s Wedding (The Citadel Theatre), set & costume design; The Innocence of Trees (Theatre Network), set & costume design; Mr Burns: A Post-electric Play (You Are Here & Blarney Productions – Sterling Award win for Best Set Design), projection design; Lake of the Strangers (Naheyawin & Fringe Theatre – Sterling Award nomination for Best Multi-Media Design), co-costume design; National Canadian tours (2018 & 2019) of Bears (Punctuate! Theatre – Dora Award nomination for Best Costume Design).
AMI FARROW – LIGHTING DESIGN
Ami Farrow is an Edmonton-based theatre designer with a passion for creating new works. Ami is excited to be working with Theatre Network at the new Roxy for the first time. Originally from Saskatoon, she moved to Edmonton in 2005 to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts at The of University of Alberta. The Roxy hold a special place in her heart because when Ami first moved to Edmonton, Theatre Network’s Nextfest welcomed her and introduced her to Edmonton’s beautiful theatre community. Thanks to some of those connections, Ami also designs lights at Shadow Theatre including productions like All the Little Animals I have Eaten, Happy Birthday Baby J, and Outside Mullingar. During the pandemic years, Ami began learning the exciting world of video design and live streaming as a resident designer with Theatre Prospero. She worked on the conceptualizing and then video design of Creature in the Dark, a live-stream shadow puppet show with video backgrounds. She had the opportunity to help transition Enchanted Antlers and Rocko and Nakota from the touring live version to live stream version. Ami also collaborates with the vibrant South Asian dance community in Edmonton – learning about how to light classical dance. Ami also works as a stage manager, lighting designer and dancer with Luna Dance Fusion. Ami is a Theatre Production instructor at the University of Alberta. She also loves to dance, create textiles and raise her two darling children.
BRIAN MAXWELL – PRODUCTION MANAGER
“Live It Live” has been the way of living for as long as I can remember. Dancer of Vagnova Ballet, and several Ukrainian Dance troops from across Western Canada, Musician, Artist, Creator/Builder of anything that can be asked for. I’ve spent as much time on stage as behind it. As a Live Sound Designer and Operator I’ve had the great opportunity to work with the amazing Canadian independent theatre and music scene as well as the top regional theatres and venues. Producing theatre and music for the masses has always been an important part of life. From the street to the seat, art is live and everywhere it is meant to be lived.
GINA MOE – STAGE MANAGER
Recent Stage Manager: Titus Buffonicus, The Empress & The Prime Minister, The Last Five Years, for Theatre Network; Pride and Prejudice, Almost a Full Moon, and The Colour Purple, for the Citadel Theatre; Orphee +, My Last 100 Years, and La Boheme for Edmonton Opera, 10 Funerals, and Bloomsday for Shadow Theatre, The Pansy Cabaret for Guys in Disguise; A Grand Time in the Rapids, and Evelyn Strange, for Teatro la Quindicina; The Fiancee, and Glory for Chemainus Theatre; Metronome and Witch Hunt at the Strand for WWPT; Craniatrium for Firefly Theatre; Enchanted April, The Retreat From Moscow, and Trying for Theatre Calgary. Gina is a two-time winner of the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes award for Outstanding Achievement in Production.
NICODEMUS HEIN – CARPENTER/LIGHTING TECHNICIAN
Nico was a 2017 graduate of the Theatre Production program at MacEwan University. Since then he has had the opportunity to work on many corporate events, including concerts, AGM’s, and
conventions, as well as at many of the great festivals here in the province, including Westerner Days, Heritage Days, Thousand Faces Festival, Edmonton International Fringe Festival, and Theatre Network’s own NextFest! While lighting has been his main focus, Nico enjoys many aspects of the technical theatre world.
ASHLEY CARTER – VENUE & LIGHTING TECHNICIAN
Ashley (She/Her) has been a full time Theatre & Live Event Technician since 2019. She greatly enjoys all her work, engaging in events such as concerts, conventions, galas, festivals, and, of
course, live theatre. From events as small as a mic on a stand to as big as spending a whole week putting together a single day exhibit, there is never a boring day in live events. She is honored to be a part of the incredible Theatre Network team at the new Roxy Theatre!
Ashley believes that art, in all of its forms, is and should be a place of community, of expression, and of acceptance. Anybody anywhere, no matter their age, language, orientation, experiences, or tastes, can find art that speaks to them, and that’s the way it should be. As a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Ashley hopes to continue the work this industry has done to create spaces that are inclusive, welcoming, and safe to all members of all communities, by incorporating the Métis values of Unity and Harmony, as well as honoring Tatawaw, the Cree phrase meaning “Welcome, there is room”.
WILL CHICHAK – CARPENTER/RUNNING CREW
Will Chichak is a stage carpenter and technician based in Edmonton, Alberta. Graduating from MacEwans Univercity’s Theatre Production Program Will took part in “Nice Work if You
Can Get It” and “The Drowsy Chaperone” from 2016-2017. Will has moved on to building with a multitude of theatre company’s in the region, having the opportunity to build sets on stages all over the city. Recently building Theatre Networks productions of Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes and With Bells On.
JADEY CAPALDO – CARPENTER/LIGHTING TECHNICIAN
Jadera (Jadey) has been working in theatre for the past 3 years. She recently graduated from MacEwan University’s Theatre Production Program, and had been involved with numerous productions since. Jadey works as a technician for multiple different theatres throughout Edmonton, but primarily spends her time working as a lighting, video, and audio technician here, at the Roxy Theatre, and at the Fringe Arts Barns. Jadey is very grateful be apart of a team that works so hard to bring to beautiful pieces of art into this world, and she hopes you enjoy watching this show as much as she does!
AMELIA CHAN – AUDIO TECHNICIAN
Amelia Chan is an Edmonton-based sound technician, stage hand, sound engineer, sound designer and musician who has recently fully immersed herself in the live sound aspect of the Edmonton arts scene. Originally learning how to record, mix and master at Victoria High School, Amelia gained a greater understanding of sound. She continued learning about music and sound at MacEwan University through the Bachelor of Music Program from 2020-2023. She graduated with a diploma in music composition in the 2023 fall semester. Amelia has had the pleasure of working at a number of festivals and venues throughout the city including CO*LAB, The Roxy Theatre, Next Fest, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Deep Freeze Festival (Byzantine Winter Festival), Skirts Afire, Another F!*#@$g Festival, Thousand Faces Festival and Edmonton International Fringe Festival. She’s also worked with Carter-Ryan Gallery and Live Theatre in Banff and Canmore. Amelia made her debut as a sound designer with Northern Light Theatre’s 2023 production of A Phoenix Too Frequent. She is so thankful for the amazing independent music and arts industry in Edmonton that has encouraged and mentored her, and has helped her build her skills and abilities.
ANDRAYA DIOGO – APPRENTICE STAGE MANAGER/ASSISTANT SET & COSTUMES DESIGNER
Andraya (she/her) is an emerging queer artist from amiskwaciwâskahikan (colonially known as Edmonton). She works as a freelance stage/production designer/manager most interested
(currently) in abstract, conceptual stage design, and good, clean paperwork. Recently, Andraya has been branching out into film, music, and dance while finishing her BFA in Theatre Production at the University of Alberta, which she will graduate from this April. PREVIOUS: Flashback Documentary (Tangerine Productions LTD) as Assistant Art Director, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes (Theatre Network) as Associate Production Designer, and The Hooves Belonged to the Deer (In Arms Theatre Collective) as Assistant Stage Manager. Headshot credit to Kaylin Schenk. Love to Gina and Brianna. PORTFOLIO: @andrayadiogo on Instagram.
With Bells On is the rare holiday show that manages to combine a true holiday spirit with storytelling that’s as funny and human as it gets.Stephen Hunt, Calgary Herald